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Monday, 12 July 2010

Rent Restriction Act

Q: (a)My landlord increased the rent by two hundred dollars monthly indicating that the electricity bill went up, no comparison was provided to verify such. For almost a year two lights were not functioning in the apt, for some months cable was not working and the ac unit also was not functional.

(b)Even though, messages were left regarding complaints and nothing was done until long after, there was a delay in providing funds for rent.

(c)Now I am given less than a week to vacate the apartment, what, if any redress is possible?


A: (a)Although the Rent Assessment Board was not functional for some time, they are here to assist you with these problems. However, the Rent Assessment Board only offers protection to registered Landlords and Tenants. When your rent was raised, you should've (or maybe still can according to how long ago this was) taken your case to the Board.

According to the cases of; Ruiz v Lazar (1984), Martin v Boodhan (1984) and Chandler v Alexis (1986), failure to register within the time frame specified in s.11, you would be unable to rely on any provisions in the Rent Restriction Act. This simply means that you would be unable to recover the rent that you saw as unfair.

(b)This sentence is a bit unclear. Elucidate and I will update the post.

(c) What kind of tenancy did you have? Weekly or Monthly? Your type of tenancy will determine how valid your Notice to Quit is.

E-mail me ASAP so I could assist you as quickly as possible.

101 comments:

  1. I live at Calder Hall Rd, Scarborough, Tobago and when I started renting in the year 2000 my Apt was $1500 mthly (two bedroom furnished. iN 2007 the landlord increased the rent to two thousand dollars. In recent times she started rearing chickens in addition to pigeons that were already on the property. There is now the presence of huge rats within the property. I am not the only tenant there, there is another (husband and wife) and they are paying the same rent as me $2000 but for a one bedroom furnished. Is this right,if my landlord is a registered renter should she engage in poultry rearing on the same compound where tenants are?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely not. That is contrary to the Public Health Ordinance, Chapter 12:4

      Delete
  2. Hi. I found your site via Google search. I am an unemployed student of the University of the Southern Caribbean. I am renting 2 one-bedroom apartments with adjoining door from my landlord abiding in the same compound on Acono Road, St. Joseph. I signed a contract on 27 July 2011 before I moved in outlining the terms of our agreement, which stated the contract term duration of 1 year. I officially gave the landlord notice of my intention to vacate on the grounds that my previous room mate has vacated the apartment and that I would not be able to afford the whole rent alone. Her reason for leaving was that my mother and sister had temporarily been staying with us for the last 2 months and she became upset with their lengthy stay and intrusion of her privacy. The landlord had attempted to mediate the matter, but she left anyway. One week later on 5 January 2012 I informed the landlord of my intention to move on 31 January 2012, but he refuses to allow me to vacate because I signed a 1-year agreement which is not yet up. Please assist me with your expertise and wisdom in this matter. Even if I may be breaching the contract, I have legitimate reasons for doing so since my room mate left me to fend for myself. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It was very inconsiderate to have two other people living in the same small space as you and your roommate.

    With that being said, your Landlord is not a very intelligent man. If a Tenant cannot afford the rent, why force the person to stay knowing that getting the rent will be a problem?

    You can't give "notice" to end a fixed-term tenancy agreement, but you can make an offer to "surrender" and it's up to the Landlord to accept/decline. Therefore, you must let the Landlord know in writing that you intend to move out in one month because of the significant change in circumstances and you cannot pay the rent yourself.

    Your Landlord would be very silly not to accept and try to find a new Tenant immediately to mitigate the losses.

    By the way, he cannot withhold your deposit because a deposit is ONLY to be held if to be used to cover bills left to be paid, damages and/or unpaid rent.

    Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a Tenant do you have to pay your rent when notice is given.

    I was told I have to pay rent up untill I leave.
    How much notice is required to vacate and apartment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have to pay rent until you leave the property. Getting notice doesn't mean that you suddenly stop being a tenant!

    If you don't pay you rent, you can be sued in civil court after you vacate.

    The minimum required notice period is in line with your tenancy. If you pay weekly, your notice is at least one week. If it is a monthly lease, your notice is at least 1 month. A longer notice period is at the discretion of the Landlord/Lady.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi. What is the legal protocol for (a) a landlord serving an eviction notice (b) a tenant giving notice to quit? Are there form to full out or do you just write a letter? Is a verbal notice admissible in court?

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  7. In both instances, the payment period is the notice period. i.e., if you pay weekly, your notice can be a week; if you pay monthly, it must be at least a month.

    No forms. It must be in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. my tenant pays his rent monthly,since he has become a nusiance to the property (smokes pot, quarelles loudly with his girlfriend all hours of the night,police surrounding the compound and wanting to get in to his appartment)he was given an eviction notice of one month.it has now been three months since he got the notice. He has stopped paying his rent and says he is not moving out until his tenancy ends in September.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why did you let him stay longer than the notice period? After the notice period ended you should've applied to the court to have him removed.

      At this point if he was still there, you would been able to bring in a Bailiff to physically throw him out.

      Now that you know, get cracking. If you need legal advice, email me and I will forward details of an Attorney I believe will be able to assist you better.

      Delete
  9. i did apply to the court -Eviction Summons. Matter took three weeks to be called. Girl friend appeared(dressed like a pauper) and said that he slipped the previous evening and damaged his side so he cannot appear on that day.Magistrate then turned to me and asked if i had a lawyer- i didn't.So, she gave them six more weeks to look for a place and told the girl friend that if he still cannot come, he should send a medical. When i asked if i may ask a question(i wanted to ask about the non payment of rent)she told me "this is not Judge Judy's court"! Girl friend left the court LAUGHING!!!! Her lies worked. Please send me details of an attorney who may be able to assist me better. To whom or to what email address do i laise with .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The email address is on the top right.

      Delete
  10. i live in south trinidad, where can i find the Landlord and tenant rent restriction board?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I live in south Trinidad, my landlord is not registered, the land to which she is renting us her house has been sold by the bank to someone else, however she is still renting the badly damaged property with an illegal water service, we were paying for current outside rent now she wants us to pay for water which we we were using from the time we moved in. We have been there for a year and a half. She also wants us to cut overgrown bushes and trees surrounding the property which will cost us a lot since we have to rent the tools to do so. isn't that her job? who is supposed to maintain the compound anyways. there was once an argument over this and now she has gone and raised the rent because according to her my mouth hot when i have never disrespected her. can she do this? i have a little baby and i am afraid of eviction to quickly. where will i take my child. I do not know what to do and i believe i am being advantaged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the water service is illegal, DO NOT pay anything towards the water bill and she cannot now force you to water bills from the past... ignore her.

      If cutting the grass is not in the lease, she can't force you to cut it. Does she live on the premises?

      If you think an increase in rent is unfair, write a letter. If she replies stating that the reason is because "your mouth is hot", get back to me and we'll make that Landlord's life very uncomfortable.

      I hate when people try to take advantage of others.

      Delete
  12. i am the land lord with the nuisance tenant; Eviction matter was called again today; you wouldn't believe this, your worship gave my "tenant" another six weeks to look for a place. his girl friend/commonlaw wife stood in for him again, told the magistrate that he has another matter in a court in south so he could not come (no proof given, none asked for) they are still looking for a place that they can afford, places on the market are too expensive.Thats a lie, they are not looking for any place because they already told me that they are not moving until their tenancy is up and they will not be paying any rent because i broke the tenancy by giving them an eviction notice in January to move out by the end of February. i am not seeing your email address at the top right hand corner, could u give me a clue what it starts with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need a Lawyer, because you're obviously dealing with a quack Magistrate.

      Your Lawyer would've insisted they provide proof or some kind of documentation.

      Magistrates like that are why the country's legal system is so damned backwards.

      If you need a Lawyer let me know, I'll put you on to someone who will definitely be able to help you out!

      Delete
    2. Hi my kids and I were homeless and we were invited to live in this apartment by someone who i thought was a good friend, this was in 2009 the guy made advances to me of which I had no choice but to give in because of fear of being thrown out on the streets and so I had to give of myself as payments, however I encountered 2 cases of infections and I decided to take a stands for my safety .now he's angry and has taken me to court for eviction I still have nowhere to go right now no do my kids they have school around the environs I am a single parent and don't have a job due to my disability what can I do I'm so scared we will be homeless again.

      Delete
    3. I am being taken to court for eviction and the landlord wants me to pay lightbill can you tell me if this is legal or not, should i still pay the light bill knowing that he wants me gone?

      Delete
    4. If you used the electricity, of course you have to pay for it.

      Delete
  13. i do need a lawyer who will help me put these people out and also help me sue them for the unpaid rent. yesterday,i was told by a neighbour that the police visited my building again on wed, 3rd May and arrested the girlfriend after searching the apt.; they found ganga and she was placed before the court later that day. See why i want them out!i need a lawyer, please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Find my e-mail address in the "About Me" section and I will direct you to an Attorney.

      Delete
  14. Good day..I recently moved from my apt which I occupied for 3 yrs. My 1st lease wz from 1march 2009 for 1 yr. After expiration I received another lease from sept 2010 for another 1 yr period..which meant that I occupied d premises for 6mths without any agreement. Upon expiration of that lease I asked for a 6mth least instead of 1 yr as I wznt certain dat I wd hv been stayin there 4 a yr n didn't want 2 lose my deposit for leavin before the lease had expired. My landlady told me that she wdnt deduct for leavin earlier than d contractual period because we had a good relationship..she never produced a tenancy agreement so from sept 2011 to may 2012 which is wen I vacated the premises I lived on the premises without a lease. I gave her more than 30 days notice because I didn't feel I needed a lease to know that that was the honourable thing to do.
    before the end of the mth that I wz leavin she called to find out wat day I wz goin as she had some1 waitin 4 d apt..she even went on 2 ask if we r painting so that d person cud move in immediately n also asked 4 a key so that she cud hv access to the premises immediately after we leave as she asked that we leave the keys with her son who lives in another apt on the same compound n didn't want to depend on gettin d keys from him..I obliged n accommodated her request 4 a copy of the key...I wz however unable 2 accommodate her next request which was to leave b4 d end of the mth so dat her prospective tenent can vacate her apt b4 d next mth began n move in to my old apt. Sry 2 b so lengthy bt I want d best possible advice based on d info provided.
    it is nw 32 days after I vacated the apt n I hv nt yet bn refunded my deposit..she claims to hv made repairs to d apt bt refuses to say d cost of the repairs. I tried callin her on the 30 june bt she did nt accept my call n subsequently sent a test msg sayin dat she can't speak to me because she lost her voice..she promised to make a deposit into my bank acct on mon 2 july bt refused to say wat d amt wd b..on monday wen I checked my acct..I saw no deposit being made. Wen I tried calling her to clarify as I kno sometimes there r delays wit d bank her phone is switched off. I need your expertise as to what r my rights as I hv no rental agreement for the last 7 months of tenancy. She also stated that she want to deduct for painting as she wz nt pleased wit the job dat we did n said dat we wasted our money by painting..the leakin sink wz there wen we moved in n so were two other taps n a broken toilet seat which we repaired because her diligence in responding to tenants requests is very poor..I kno I did her a favor by repairing things dat were her responsibility as those were damages dat we met there bt hw can I go about fighting for my rights n getting back my full deposit minus a glass dat wz broken which I accept liability for..pls pls help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When a tenant is vacating the property, the inspection should be done with the Landlord/lady and all issues recorded and signed for at that time.

      Your first step will be to put this in writing, so write a letter to the Landlady and post to her address and also leave a copy with her son. Send a text to her phone informing her of the letters you left. Give her a time frame to respond (eg. 14 days), and if you deposit is not refunded, you will be taking legal action against her.

      If she ignores you, send me an email in 2 weeks and we'll deal with this further.

      Delete
  15. i checked my acct about an hr ago n realized that she deposited $1250 which is half of my deposit. i am a fair n reasonable person n i know that there was not $1250 worth of damage left in the apt. i tried calling again to meet with her and also left a msg to see the receipts and to view the repairs she claims to have made but she refuses to answer or return my calls. This can't be right

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has to show pictures and/or receipts. If she can't, you are entitled to all your money back.

      Delete
  16. further to my last post. my husband called the landlady from an unfamiliar phone number and she answered. When asked about the balance of money that was not deposited she told him to stop calling her and that we should do whatever we want to do. :O...yes she did

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I wonder why people don't take better precautions in situations like these, especially when money is involved. However, if that's her response, I think your letter should be written by an Attorney because when she sees the Attorney's stamp, she will realise that you are serious about going after her for your money.

      That's your first step. After that, you'll have to go to court, but you can do that part without an Attorney and I honestly believe the letter will scare her back into doing the right thing.

      I can refer you to an Attorney who will charge you a nominal fee for the letter. Where are you located? E-mail me.

      Delete
  17. I now live at Bagatelle 1, Scarborough, Tobago. My rent is now $800.00 exclusive of utilities lights and water. The rent is that amount because there are no inside toilet and bathroom. The house has two storeys and my family lives upstairs while another family lives downstairs. There is only one TTEC meter on the house so we share payment of the electric bill and the other facilities. We started renting at this location from January 2012. For the first month we paid $1600.00, the landlord indicated that this was for the first and last month (meaning that whenever we were ready to leave we did not have to pay any rent for the last month that we are there). We were very desperate at the point in time when we rented the place because rent in Tobago is so expensive. We however have no rental agreement but we have all our receipts and we pay our rent on time. Two weeks after we moved to that location the electric panel in the house malfunctioned and one day the lights went out completely. I immediately called in a good friend of mine who is an electrical professional and he was able to bring in and install a more up-to-date replacement so as to have the lighting in the house restored. He did this at no charge. Also when we moved into the house it was unpainted with dilapidated windows; we replaced them with some second hand windows and we did some painting to make the building look a little bit friendlier. I make all these points to indicate that we did not request of the land-lord for a decrease in terms of rent payments for all the improvements we brought to the building. We also would have brought our furniture and appliances into the building; there was some old furniture there, most of it not good, so we disposed of it.
    There is only one current issue that we have. When we moved to the location, the outside latrine was almost full. We indicated this to the landlord and he said he would have to get it emptied. We are now in the month of August and yet still it has not been emptied. Two weeks ago the landlord said that he applied to an organisation but they didn’t come as yet as we were on the waiting list. However about a month before he brought someone to assess the situation and he said that the person said that before the latrine could be emptied the yard had to be cut so that the truck could reverse into the yard. (The yard is on an incline and where the latrine and house are is some metres from the road). Today, the 17 August no one still has not come to empty the latrine. For this month, I had some minor problems have not yet paid my rent. The landlord called this morning and told me he needed to get the rent today, but I told him due to certain circumstances I may /may not be able to pay the rent by today, but that I would have it by next week, if I didn’t have it today. He started to quarrel with me and then I proceeded to tell him that I usually pay my rent on time and that I don’t think he should be hard on me and I also reminded him that the first time I paid rent, I also paid an additional fee. I also indicated to him that I unlike the tenants downstairs who are very delinquent in terms of their payments as I recently learned that they have not paid for at least 3 months. He in turn replied that they were given an eviction notice to leave and that if I wanted he could do the same for me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My tenant wants to pave the yard at her cost ie I dont have to pay.
    What's the catch?
    FS

    ReplyDelete
  19. Would you be able to tell me what constitutes damage when it comes to refund of a security deposit for an apartment? The landlord has mentioned need to deduct from it (security deposit) to paint and because the outside of a window is rusting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is not damage. He cannot deduct for normal wear and tear.

      Delete
  20. I live in Central Trinidad and I pay my rent each month on time. My landlords are rennovating an apartment downstairs. On Saturday mornings there is loud pounding and sawing. I have told my landlord that this disturbs relaxation as my husband and I work during the week and we look forward to relaxing on the weekend. They never inform us when work is taking place. We always see strange people in and out of the yard and then the noise starts. All I am asking is that she has a little consideration for us as tenants. Do we have any rights as tenants at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's only one day, it is for renovation... you have a right to leave if it bothers you that much. No other legal rights.

      Delete
  21. Hi good day, i have been renting a studio apartment for approximately 5 years. The lease itself is per annum with monthly payments made. The landlord has not conducted any improvements to the property but seeks to increase the rent almost at the end of each leasing agreement. Rent was initially 950 now its 1400 with an increase to 1500 due. Again, no improvements to the site were ever done and initial inquiry into why the rent keeps goin up, i am informed of land tax, water went up, electricity went up. But the tune of a 550 increase?
    The new agreement given to me (unsigned as yet by me) now states they can keep my deposit to clean or repaint the room after i leave, even though i have to do the painting myself (at most they change a lightbulb) and they havent fixed any of the items in my apartment that break, i do(fans, waterheaters etc)
    Is there any recourse for me to stop this yearly raising of my rent

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy i found this blog, my cousin who has 3 kids and is pregnant has been given an eviction notice of one week, and she pays monthly. Based on the previous post i can see that 1 month notice is necessary. The land lord has since turned off electricity to her apartment in an attempt to drive her out. (a)Is this something she can go to the police for to make them turn it on, or desist from future acts?(b)Should the landlord after 1 week decide to remove them himself, can the police then protect her? Note she pays her rent on time and is in possession of her receipts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The police do not get involved in civil matters, so they can't help.

      Turning off the electricity is illegal. She can sue for any damages done by that act; i.e., spoiled food, damaged appliances, affect on study or work. Write a letter to the landlord and keep a copy explaining that she knows her rights and any further action will lead to mitigation.

      Delete
  23. Hi, I am currently renting an apartment that was previously jointly owned by my step-father who died one week ago and another party that is currently in a coma. When my step-father died, the family of the other tenant sent a letter indicating that the rent has increased by $200.00 and if I don't pay it, I will have to leave the premises. Mind you this only gave me 6 days to either pay the increase or be evicted without any notice. Please advise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rent increases are given the same notice period as evictions: 30 days for rent paid monthly. 6 days is insufficient and therefore illegal. Don't pay it. Let them do it properly, if they so wish.

      Delete
  24. I went to view an apartment in east trinidad.I liked the apartment and decided to make a deposit.A few minutes after checking the surroundings i realized that transportation issues may affect my way to work.I called the lady and she said ok no problem come for the money.On getting there she handed me the envelope and said she deducted 500 dollars.I was like for what she said did u notice the receipt said no refund.I was like i signed nothing nor a rental agreement and it has only been 20 mins and she refused to give me the rest of my money.Can you give me some feedback on whether i lost out with that one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no such thing as a non-refundable security deposit. All money you pay in addition to your first month’s rent is refundable.

      Since non-refundable deposits are illegal, it doesn't matter if it is included in your lease. This section will not be valid even if you have signed the rental contract or agreed to it.

      A deposit can ONLY be used for damages to the property, unpaid rent or unpaid utility bills... none of those will apply in your situation.
      If there was no damage between the time you moved in and left, she cannot withold rent.

      Request your money in writing, after that, don't think it's too much to bring a civil suit for your money. She'll pay all the costs after she loses anyway.

      Delete
  25. I have signed an agreement to rent an apartment for 2 years, the landlord had a rental company taking up the rent and now he has cut ties with the company and says I have to pay him the rent directly. He also says that now I have to pay to service the AC that came with the apartment or he will remove it.(The company that I use to pay his rent to says its his responsibility). What can I do about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your Landlord is an idiot.

      A landlord cannot introduce an additional charge for something that has previously been included in your rent. This is called an illegal charge.

      A landlord cannot remove something that they have previously provided as a part of your rental agreement (whether or not that particular service is written down). This is called a loss of service.

      Delete
  26. i have a problems with the landlord, so he say i have to move out, i am rent a one room from him for 10 month's now. i did not get any writing notelets from him. so what do i do? Q: how long do i have till i have to move out if i did not pay rent before that month he say i have to move out, and if i did pay my rent for the month i have to move out when can i get back my money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your landlord should give you the eviction notice in writing, which should tell you when you have to leave; this period should be a month if you pay you rent monthly.

      You should be able to stay until the end of the month that you've already paid for, and your security deposit should be returned within 24 hours of you vacating the premises.

      Delete
  27. so long the landlord haven't been in the country the landlord son and grandson keeps on making mischief oppressing the tenants for no logical reason, and is lying to the landlord is their anyway to be compensated??? for all this unfairness

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good night my land-lord tell me a week ago that i have to move out in a month but he refuses to give me a writhing eviction notice. and he say that if i do not move out he will get a bailiff to put me out. what do i do??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlike leases, all evictions MUST be in writing. A bailiff can evict you if there is a court order or an emergency requires the landlord to put you out immediately.

      However, I do not understand why anyone would want to stay in a place where the Landlord is clearly not a law-abiding citizen.

      Delete
  29. i have been renting an apt. for six months now, we were in a desperate position due to the heavy rains last august. i have two kids with my partner and we all live together in the apt. the landlady is my mother-in-law's best friend and two months after moving in they began plotting, victimising, and slandering my name, which never got to me. on the 6th of this month(July)we were late on rent and she turned off the water. we then decided we would leave by the month's end to avoid any controversy we also agreed we would pay no rent seeing that she took off the water. today (19th July) she has taken off our lights and want us to leave today. i think it's more personal than anything sort of a vendetta against me but what do i do and could you refer me to someone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. You have to go to the police.

      2. It is illegal to withold rent, so pay your rent.

      Delete
  30. I have been rent an apartment for over 8 years now, the landlady died last years and her children recently gave me an eviction notice. the reason i was told that they are going to sell the place. Do a tenant have first preference to purchase the place.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My tenant had been shearing a furnished 2 bedroom house with another tenant who was evicted. Since the evicted tenant left, the vacant bedroom has not been rented. The tenant without getting my approval moved his girlfriend and there 2 children into the house. One the 1st of this month I called to inform him that I was coming by to collect the rent he did not answer his phone which is unusual for him. About an hour later I received a call from his girlfriend on the 1st of July she informed me he is in Nigeria (birth country) and she was moving out he asked her to let me know because neither he or she will be able to pay the rent. I went by to inspect the house she had already left. Two days later the keys was given to another tenant in the annexed building. The dining room furniture is broken there is a leak in the kitchen several of the bedroom window slats are missing. Can you please advise me on what I can do to recover for my lose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You didn't take a deposit?

      If they're not in the country, it wouldn't be worth it. If they are, you can bring them up in Magistrate's court.

      Delete
  32. Hi ,my mom is renting an when she moved in the place was semi furnished just 2 beds a dining table set microwave and a few other minor stuff which the landlord charged her $2300TTD /month ...my mom eventually baught her own stuff to replace what the landlord had in the house beacause they werent in good enough condition ....is it right for the landlord to still charge $2300? by the way it a one bedroom which is very very small 1toilet/bath kitchen an living room area which is small also in the belmont area .Also there are 2 other apartments on the compound an there is room for parking one of the parking blocks the entrance to my moms apartment when there is a car parked an my mom was told she cant have no parking space which is madness so when the other tenants park infront our walk way we literally have to squeeze through the car an the wall to pass an if anyones car gets scratched its gonna be her to pay for damages is it right ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she has been paying the same rent for conditions she's not happy with, her only solution is to move.

      Delete
  33. my landlord and I lives on the same compound he comes over every morning and evening to wet the trees and plants with my hose and my electricity to pump the water my electricity bill has gone from little over $200 to over $400 I told him about it he stopped using the water hose but asked me to move out because he wants to do repairs to the house I pay my own electricity bill he has no issues with my rent payment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A whole paragraph without punctuation? Are you serious? I don't know how an adult who produced a resume to get a job can't construct a sentence.

      If he wants to do repairs, that's a valid reason for eviction. The other issue is irrelevant.

      Delete
  34. I have been renting an apartment for 5 years and the contract is ending December. The Landlord is saying that he wants to raise the rent by $1000 from the next year because land tax is coming back and insurance for the building. I occupy upstairs and there are 2 businesses downstairs. Since I moved there he was supposed to paint the building and do repairs on the outside to this day it has not been done. If there is repairs to be done inside he don't like to by anything new, he patches up everything. I told he can't raise the rent because he didn't do any renovations. He said he'll raise it by $500 for 1 year and he'll paint, then the next year he raise it for $500 again. I said no you have to at-least leave it for 2 years. Since the beginning of this year when he renewed the contract for a year he wanted to raise it by $1000 but i said no because nothing was done. He's very persistent to raise the rent. I don't want to move because the price is just right for me at the moment and location is convenient. What can be done on this matter? Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, there is no restriction on the amount a Landlord/lady can increase the rent by. The Rent Assessment Board has been defunct for many years.

      Delete
  35. If you are in rent arrears, can the land lord hire the services of a bailiff to confiscate your property to meet the owed sum without warning?

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a new landlord, my tenant continues to pay rent late every month until now it is always a month behind, when I try calling her she does not respond, can I apply a late fee to her rent? , or simply ask her to leave because every month I have to be dogging her for my rent? she has been renting for only 7 months..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can do either, but if she's already late with rent, getting her to pay a late fee might be just as difficult.

      Your best option is to give a 30-day notice to evict.

      Delete
  37. I have been renting an apartment for the past year. My landlord has renewed the lease, which includes a $200 rent increase (in only 1 year of living there?) I have not yet signed this new agreement. I pay my own electricity bill. Is there any redress for this? He has also add to the lease agreement that he would not be liable for any loss or damage to electrical items due to fluctuation in electricity... This was only added this year, after something went terribly wrong with the electrical box outside the house.. It was corroded and caused the lights to dim or cut off and caused sparks in some of the plugs.. could have caused a fire... He eventually got an electrician to check it and clean it out, and fix the problem. Please provide guidance and feedback on theses two issues.. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi. I called a landlady with regards to renting a 1 room apt in east trinidad. The information I got about the apt was that it was 2200 a month, cupboards in bedroom and kitchen, hot and cold water in the shower and face basin and a pump to provide water in the case water should go. I also pay my own electricity, there are four more tenants in the yard. They decided to give each of us individual meters which would require drilling and me moving from my bedroom that is where it was installed. After the apt was rewired the light were fluctuating along with my refridgerator causing it to shut on and off and also spoiling my fan, the hot water was also taken away in which they gave us wtittrn letters stating that going forward we buy a portable heater and maintain our heat without decreasing the rent. For the discomfort not being able to use my fridge, all my food spoiling and having no fan In which I did complain and nothing happened I then had to go by my mother and spend that month 3 weeks or so. I refuse to pay for that period. Please advise how I should treat this I am ready to accept a notice and leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't like where you're living, leave.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree, however, I would like to know if I must pay for that said month, because I was told if I don't pay for that period I would be receiving a notice. I just need to know my rights!

      Delete
    3. All rent must be paid up until the day you leave/end of notice.

      Delete
  39. Is TSTT vigilance an utility bill as wasa. If a landlord have that in her home and is going to rent the home out can she focus the tenant to paid the bill or is it like cable optional

    ReplyDelete
  40. "By the way, he cannot withhold your deposit because a deposit is ONLY to be held if to be used to cover bills left to be paid, damages and/or unpaid rent." If the person signs an agreement for 1 year of a commercial space and leaves in 2 months, the landlord has not the right to hold the deposit? The tenant is breaching the agreement , am I wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a breach, but unless that is a clause in your lease, you can't withhold the deposit.

      Delete
  41. Hi good day, I was given an warning letter on the 2nd of January 2014 stating that i have to pay off two mths rent $3750 by the
    the 31st of this mth. By then I'll be owing February rent which will
    be $5550. I'm in no condition to pay this rent right now.
    Also the apartment was lease to me every 6mths my lease expired on 30th of September 2013. I only became a tenant their, on the 15 of Nov 2012. I was advised that I have 3 mths rent free. And also that the landlady could seize my personnel items, Is this true?, and how should i go about it ?
    Please I'm a single mother of two, and I've only just discover your website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you mean you got 3 months free rent? The Landlady CANNOT seize your belongings.

      Your best options is to pay your rent. You can't live somewhere and not pay.

      Delete
  42. Good day im renting a 2bedroom apartment for 2500 before i moved in my land lady had some items (glass display shelves)in the place i asked her to remove them because it was not safe to have them there i have 3 children she said she would move them before i move in the night i arrived at the place with all of my things the cases was still there ,i couldn't not move in because i already paid for my transport etc so i spoke to her again about removing the items she said she will have them moved eventually i my self asked her after 2mths of asking if i could remove them she agreed because her initial excuse was she had nowhere else to put the item i decided it was better out infront of my apartment which was covered . she agreed the next morning i was awoken by her quarreling about her items outside i reminded her of our conversation yet she denies this happening that died down eventually i went to her asking if i could use my apartment to have a daycare she wrote a letter saying she give me full permission to do so in her hand writing and signature, after a week she decides she doesnt want me living there anymore because i have her stuff outside and i moved some plants from infront of the house to the side of the house....im supposed to open on monday 10th of feb 2014 she told me i need to leave what do i do ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to send me a private e-mail!

      Delete
  43. Good day..I have a tenant who is verbally abusive to me and throw words for my other tenant. I gave her a 1 month notice to move because of her behaviour. She refuses to pay the month rent. She is telling us that the security deposit is used as the last months rent. She has an electricity bill which is outstanding as well. Now when she leaves if there are any damages or even the electricity bill to pay I have to stand all the expense..Is there anyway I can get her to move before the month is up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only way is an illegal eviction... change the locks and put her stuff outside.

      Delete
  44. Good day..I have been renting a 2 bedroom furnished apt from 2009 to present. My contract was yearly and last year, same wasn't renewed. My rent was never late as the previous contracts had given me two days grace period to have my rent paid.At the time I moved in here, it was just what I wanted; furnished n liveable. Now, it's too cumbersome n I need to get my own stuff as I intend to build my house soon. I informed the landlord that I would b moving as I need a bigger place to accommodate the stuff I need to get. He told me he understood and as long as I cleaned the apt, he's ok. Please note that for the duration of my time at this apt, no upgrades has been made. There was a washing machine that was here for me to utilize wen I moved in but same malfunctioned n the landlord informed me that I was responsible for it as I was the one using it. I made no fuss and paid to have it fixed. Sometime after, it malfunctioned again. I made the decision not to fix it anymore and instead purchased one. Now the burners on the stove aren't working. I am not sure if it's my responsibility or his. I'm almost ready to move and he called me today and told me that he has someone ready to move in and that he wants the apt the same way he rented it to me. Also, he is holding my deposit of $5000.00 which I know he is gonna make a fuss to give back to me. Can u please advise me on my rights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you're responsible for everything that you use, even if he provided it. 2009 to 2014 is a long time and he can't be held responsible for 5 years of your usage.

      Delete
  45. Hi Good Day,



    I gave notice to my landlady on April 1st on intention of evacuating the premises a month away, carrying me into May 01st.

    I stated in my letter that the apartment was in good condition warranting my security deposit. The agent came and review the apartment the day I was moving and stated that the apartment was in good condition.

    When asked for my security deposit, they mentioned that they do not pay security deposit until someone moves into the apartment. It has been two weeks and I have not been contacted on my security deposit.

    I decided to call the agent who told me that the land lady is insisting that I repaint the walls to which she initially gave consent for me to paint, and change the lock for a door to which I lost a key. Only one key was issued for this lock initially. I have cleared all outstanding utilities since my evacuation. I am now beginning to believe that they do not want to pay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your security deposit should be returned upon you moving. It is not contingent on someone else moving in.

      Have you written to the landlady?

      Delete
  46. hello. I'm a new landlord and i rented out an apartment without any documents being signed. It was verbally agreed that he will pay the first and last month rent up front... He has been paying rent good. He did not pay for the month of April due to financial difficulties... So i verbally told him that i will need to do some upgrading of the apartment so consider April his month inside... It is now 15 Days into May and no movements on his path. What do i do? That apartment is my income...

    ReplyDelete
  47. hi, is it law that the landlord pay at least one of the utility bills??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Each party pays for their own consumption of utilities.

      Delete
  48. My husband and I have been renting a one bedroom apartment in an apartment building in Tobago for the past 8 years at the cost of $1800. Our lease was renewed at the beginning of 2014 for one year. On 22/06/14 we found a letter slid under our door from the landlord indicating that the rent would be increased to $1950 as at 01/08/14, citing that due to the increase in maintenance expenses related to the upkeep of the premises.
    Please note that there have been upgrades to the premises. In addition, in our apartment has several broken tiles due to wear and tear which were brought to the landlord's attention since May 2013, also from time to time there is a water problem which causes inconvenience to tenants without any explanation.
    A. Can the landlord increase the rent although we signed a lease for the $1800 for an additional year?
    B. Can the landlord increase the rent although there are no upgrades keeping in mind the existing issues?
    C. How should we deal with the situation?
    D Can you please cite the part of the act supporting your response if possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A. Yes. That rent increase is reasonable.

      B. Yes. It's his property. If you don't like the price, move.

      C. Pay the rent or move.

      D. N/A

      Delete
  49. Hi I had a contract with a rent to own vehicle with someone but he breech the agreement and he only have about 2 to 3 mths to finish pay off but since it got in a accident he stop pay like 2mths now and puttin me on run arounds, the contract states fail to pay i could reposess my vehicle whats the bess thing to do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seeing that he paid that much, you would not be able to repossess without a court order, in accordance with S.13(1) of the Hire Purchase Act 1957, as amended.

      Delete
  50. can I as a tenant after I have already has been renting for apply at rent assessment board

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, the RAB is not currently operational.

      Delete
  51. Hi I am an agent for a landlord with a tenant that has occupied an apartment for three years . I only have a first year lease signed . ( the landlord lives in USA) . He has paid up till September 2013 and moved out in May 2014 . Do I have any legal ground to recoup the rent from him without a signed lease?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Magistrate's court. Get it done asap.

      You need to prepare your own summons, or get an Attorney to prepare it for you and include the costs in your lawsuit.

      Delete
  52. Hi, I told my landlady on d 5th of august that I would be moving out at the end of august. She agreed that my deposit would cover this month rent. On the 10th, she asked me to move out by the 15th as she plans to travel on 19th and she already habe a potential tenant coming in on 1st Sept and she needs to clean etc, before she leaves. What can I do? As I am no in a position to leave before the end of the month.

    ReplyDelete
  53. She came back again later today to inform me that since I have decided not to leave the apt before the end of the month, that I now have to pay this month's rent. The deposit will now be kept until she determines what repairs needs to be done on my vacating, and monies will be deducted for such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's right. That's the purpose of the deposit.

      Delete

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